“Raise your eyes and look into the distance”, the national meeting of the Meg youth

The national convention of the Eucharistic Youth Movement (Meg ): youth section of the worldwide prayer network of the Supreme Pontiff (formerly apostolate of prayer), from which he draws the deep bond with Jesus the Eucharist, at the center of the inspiring charism, together with the filiation to the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Meg it is an international movement, present in all continents. The Society of Jesus takes care of the Meg and also the experience of the spiritual exercises accompanies the formation of young adults, in the last phase of presence within the Movement.

The internationality at the Frascati conference is also given by the presence of young people from the Meg communities of Albania, Malta and Brussels.

There were 570 participants, from middle school to university, who gathered at the “Papa Giovanni XXIII Center” in the town of Castelli Romani, coming from all over Italy.

The theme of the conference was “Raise your eyes and look into the distance”: the works officially kicked off the social year 2022/2023, dedicated to “Mission and Hope”.

The activity of the Meg alternates the three fundamental themes of the Eucharist, the Word and the Mission.

The work, for the various branches to which it belongs, developed through assembly moments, group work, moments of prayer and silence.The theme “Raise your eyes and look into the distance” recalls the passage of Paul’s call and conversion from the Acts of the Apostles, which will be the guiding passage for the social year.

The little ones had the sensorial experience of blindness and the rediscovery of light and faith, during a lively prayer vigil.

Some testimonies particularly involved the participants:

Chiara Mormile, of the Army sports group, fencer of the Italian national team and member of a community of the Meg of Rome San Saba, who spoke of her experience of faith lived also in sport; the married couple Cristiano and Simona who live in Pescara, and are part of the Pope John XXIII community. Since 2011 they have been carrying out their life project together in the “Mia Gioia” family home.

The intervention of Don Giorgio Moriconi, parish priest in Pescara, who coordinates the Pescara presidium of the “Libera” association founded by Don Luigi Ciotti, was also very much felt. Every week Don Giorgio, accompanied by groups of young people, goes around the Adriatic city bringing comfort and assistance to women forced into prostitution, offering concrete help and the possibility of finding a safe place to start a life of freedom.

The group testimony, brought by some girls and boys from various Meg communities of Italy, on the experience lived on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, last summer, was very involved: a journey of faith and research that marked them a lot. .

A very intense and moving moment characterized the evening mass on Monday 31 October: Father Andrea Picciau sj, national manager of the Meg for six years, left his role, because he assumes the role of new delegate for vocations of the Italian Jesuit Province .

With a ceremony within the liturgy, Father Picciau took off the chasuble and put it on the new national manager, Father Renato Colizzi sj, former national director of the World Prayer Network.

In introducing himself to the Meg, Father Renato spoke about his life: “I trust you that for me the world of the Meg is all new, a shy and exciting“ first time ”. I have already met many friends who immediately made me feel at home and who give me the courage to walk without feeling alone. First of all Andrea, who welcomed me with so much enthusiasm and who here in Frascati will officially pass the baton of responsibility for the Movement to me; I take this opportunity to tell you something about me too. Before joining the Jesuits I chose to study medicine because, even though I was not yet a believer (the call to believe the Gospel came only during university), I wanted to understand the mystery of suffering and mental illness. After graduation, I felt the unexpected call to serve the Lord as a Jesuit. I have traveled a lot, particularly in Africa, discovering how the Gospel speaks to all cultures and to all peoples. Now, as head of the Meg Italy-Malta-Albania, I hope to experience with you the beauty of opening ourselves to the surprises that God prepares for us ”.

In turn, Father Picciau recalled his experience: “I lived in the Meg for fifteen years of my life, the last six as national manager.

I have given so much, I have done everything possible, I have learned and received more. You are a huge gift to me.

A gift that I received for free from the Lord, in an unexpected time when I never thought I could put myself at the service of a youth movement ”.

It will be up to the new national manager to accompany Meg to the great party for his eighty years of life: it was founded by Father Virginio Rotondi in Florence in 1944, when he gathered around the Eucharist a group of children scattered among the rubble of the city, wounded by the second world War. During the concluding Mass of the conference, on the feast of All Saints, presided over by Father Colizzi, Father Frédéric Fornos sj, international director of the Supreme Pontiff’s World Prayer Network and of the Eucharistic Youth Movement, also concelebrated.

“Raise your eyes and look into the distance”, the national meeting of the Meg youth